Wish your MacBook had a touchscreen? Then buy this $99 gadget

Comments

  • Omis

    Yeah, wouldn’t that be better next to the laptop as a touch pad? People don’t actually need to touch the screen.

  • Unorthodox

    All what Apple wants is you buying more of their products. So instead of “hm, if I bought the touchscreen PC why do I need a tablet”, you’re thinking “Awesome! I have a great PC, and when I need a touchscreen I will also have an iPad!”

    • Mike

      Apple has enough cash/assets to burn through over 100 years..

  • Unorthodox

    I actually want this for my old 27″ display.

    • Homer J. Simpson

      I used to go “pfft touch screen laptops, so stupid” until I got one myself and have been using ever since. However, 27 inch monitor with touch is a lot of arm work…. I mean, I could be wrong again until I try one myself but… 27 inch sounds tiring.

  • ciderrules

    Stupid idea. The Surface is useless as a tablet because most software is not optimized for touch. There’s no MacOS software optimized for touch either so this product is a complete failure.

    • Homer J. Simpson

      Touch on Windows is not meant for dev work, scientific work, any work that requires a significant amount of typing, etc. Touch is meant for browsing web pages, reading ebooks, playing music, playing touch enabled games, etc. The Surface or any touch laptop is meant so that you can do both that and use the device as a regular mouse/keyboard computer whenever you want and however you want. You seem to think that the Surface is meant to make all software touch-enabled and that you should be able to do everything on it. That’s not what it is. Do I want to be coding a Mobile WebApp using touch? No. Do I want to test the Mobile WebApp I built using touch? Yes. Do I want to be typing up a scientific journal using touch? No. Do I want to be reading scientific journals using touch? Yes. It’s simple logic. One you seem to not have. Get that into your tiny pea-sized brain and get the Apple butt plug out of your butt.

      So now tell me, what are some of these “most software” that’s not meant for touch? If you list out anything that’s not meant as consuming but more for productivity, you need to shove your iPad up your butt.

    • ciderrules

      Ahhh, did I upset the troll?

      Nice apology for the fact that touch is USELESS on any Surface. And yes, I’ve used it. I actually bought a SP4 i7 to try out (MS has a very generous return policy so it’s no risk).

      My daughter tried Toon Boom on it (her primary animation package). We thought the stylus and using in tablet mode would be useful, but it was garbage. She’s faster using a Wacom on her MBP (which runs circles around the Surface for performance considering MS doesn’t use the quad core i7 like Apple does).

      So tell me, light bulb, is the stylus an accessory only used for consumption? Because MS promotes it as a productivity tool for creatives. It’s garbage without software support.

    • Homer J. Simpson

      Oh noes, it’s the Toon Boom argument again. You never actually say why it’s garbage every time you say this. You just say it’s garbage? That’s like saying Tesla is garbage, my Honda Civic is better and it runs circles around the Tesla. Seriously, do you even logic? Oh, and also, did Microsoft build Toon Boom? You’re using one sh*tty software dev as your reasoning for not using a device?

      Lastly, explain what the word “troll” means. And explain how I’m a troll for explaining to you what a Surface is designed for.

    • ciderrules

      Toon Boom is a sh*tty developer? Do you have any clue what this company produces and who uses it? Showing your ignorance.

      A Wacom tablet/stylus along with a keyboard for shortcuts is much faster and far more productive than a Surface with a stylus/touch. Something you seem to not want to talk about since MS promotes this as a way to be productive (not consumption). You want to try and separate touch and stylus when we’re really talking about the device as a “tablet” regardless of what input method you use. And the Surface is useless as a tablet. Simply because developers are too lazy to have the layout of their applications change when you’re in tablet mode, instead relying on Windows to handle it for them. So touch “works” but it’s far from “optimized”. Sort of like how Android tablet Apps are mostly garbage because devs don’t bother to take advantage of the larger screen and rely on Android to perform the scaling for them.

      You are a troll based on previous conversations I’ve had with you. I have no reason to believe you’ve changed so I’ll continue to call a spade a spade. But again, it’s kinda hard to prove since you’re afraid to let people read your post history and keep it private. Why is that, I wonder?

    • Homer J. Simpson

      Okay let’s break this all down for a second on just how f*cked up you are. You said trying to use stylus on Surface tablet for Toon Boom is horrible (which you’ve still yet to explain how it’s horrible). But let’s assume it is horrible, is that Toon Boom’s fault or Surface’s stylus’ fault? Because Surface stylus works great on note taking apps, midi sequencing apps, and a whole slew of other drawing software. Works fantastic with ArtRage Pro. Yet somehow that’s the fault of Surface when the stylus doesn’t work well with Toon Boom. How is this not a logic fail there? Oh, and you still haven’t explained how it’s not as good as a Wacom tablet. Why? Because you’re full of sh*t.

      A stylus is an accessory to the surface tablet. A touchscreen is not an accessory. You don’t buy a Surface requiring you to use the stylus. If software are not compatible with the stylus, that sounds pretty normal to me because guess what? It’s an accessory. But let’s not forget that we are talking about touchscreens and “touch” where touch means finger touch. Touchscreens do not mean active digitizers will work.

      “Surface is useless as a tablet.” There it is again. Fruits are not healthy. The sky is not blue. The earth is not round. There is a god. See I can make statements without reasoning to back it up, too! You do realize that many windows apps have desktop modes and touch mode right? Where the UI actually changes depending on what mode you set it to… right? Something tells me you’re full of sh*t when you said you’ve bought a Surface.

      Oh look the Android scaling argument, let me guess, you’ve just bought an Android tablet just recently and you’ve tried apps and found out they’re still scaled… right? Welcome to 2017. Where many apps already have different UI layouts. It seems you’re still stuck in 2012. Have you tried Twitter on an Android tablet vs on a phone? Have you tried Facebook on an Android tablet vs a phone? Oh gee you must have, you tried all Android phones and tablets and windows devices and everything. You’re Ciderrules, you’ve tried them all!

    • ciderrules

      So easy to get you riled up. You can’t even talk without swearing.

      So you cherry pick a few Apps that work good with a stylus on the Surface and try to extrapolate that to claim the experience is good for most Apps. It’s not.

      I explained why a Wacom is better. Because anyone who works with software will know all the keyboard shortcuts for popular functions. You can draw with the Wacom stylus in your right hand and used keyboard combinations with your left. Avoids the ridiculously slow method of clicking on menu items with your stylus (and having to move the stylus away from what you’re actually doing – drawing). In Toon Boom, Illustrator and others you can set also up macros and assign them to keys to perform more complex actions without having to, again, go through multiple menu selections. And you can select options WHILE you’re drawing.

      Seriously, have you EVER watched a professional use Photoshop or any other high end graphical software?

      Just a second while I scan my SP4 receipt for you.

    • Homer J. Simpson

      Wait, hold up. You cherry picked one application that was poorly designed for stylus and extrapolated that the Surface hardware is useless. What has this world come to when one nay vote trumps the majority of good votes?

      Also, why can’t you set up keyboard shortcuts for using the stylus? The surface cover is still a keyboard that you can use while using a stylus. Why can’t you use the keyboard cover to use as shortcuts and still draw on the tablet? Doesn’t that sound better than having yet another accessory? If the keyboard shortcuts don’t work with stylus, then that sounds like poor software development work on Toon Boom’s part, no? I’m seriously lost with your backwared logic here. What is to stop you from plugging in a keyboard and using shortcuts while using a stylus and drawing on the screen?

    • ciderrules

      Did you seriously suggest to use the type cover for keyboard shortcuts? Hey bright boy, how are you supposed to draw with the stylus in one hand, use the keyboard type cover with the other hand and manage to HOLD your Surface tablet steady?

      The reason Toon Boom doesn’t waste their time on the Surface is for 2 reasons. One is it just doesn’t sell in any quantities for them to consider it. No developer is going to waste time for a tiny market (lower end models are too slow for graphic intensive work and very few people buy the higher end model). The other, and more important reason, is the workflow is inferior to a Wacom + keyboard. People don’t want to go backwards in productivity by constraining their workflow to a Surface.

      Toon Boom illustrates the problem with the Surface Pro perfectly. The whole mantra of the Surface is a tablet that runs high-end full-blown Windows software (as opposed to iOS or Android which don’t have nearly the amount of professional software that Windows or Mac do). This is a lie as the truly professional software that people would actually use isn’t optimized for it. Who cares if Facebook, Twitter and a few popular Apps work fine on the Surface? The same holds true for Android, where all the top common Apps are great on tablets. When you want to go deeper then the limitations hit you straight in the face.

      Even Illustrator for Surface has serious flaws in its workflow, especially when switching between the desktop and touch modes and which features are available in which modes. Which makes me laugh when I read reviews of Illustrator on Surface and people say it’s great and I’m thinking “did you use this for more than 5 minutes, or did you use the stylus on the screen in touch mode for 30 seconds and think it’s the coolest thing you ever saw”?

    • Jeff Innis

      Wait, wait, wait, so all this time we’re talking about your complaint about problems you created yourself? How does a normal person write on a notepad? How does a normal person draw on sketchbook? Are you telling me you are drawing on your Wacom tablet with one hand while the other hand is holding the Wacom tablet steady? It’s not rocket science to put the Surface tablet down on the table and draw on it while your other hand can use the keyboard. Mindblown yet? It’s like you’re complaining about how heavy a car is to push when normal people just drive the car.. At the end of the day, there is no problem with the Stylus on the surface for Toon Boom. You’re just not normal.

      Again, a Surface is not meant to make full-blown desktop apps touch friendly. It is meant so that you can run full-blown desktop apps when you want ti to behave like a desktop. How is this not comprehensible to you. A Surface is meant for you to read your ebooks on the bus, show presentation to your colleagues, play some light games on the couch. And when you’re back home in your office, you set it on the table, hook up a mouse to it, and you can write those ebooks, code those game apps, and make the presentation. It is meant to allow you to do both what Android/iOS can do, but still giving you the ability to run full DESKTOP software like you would with your desktop in the same device. Nobody is expecting most software to be optimized for touch just because touch is there for you.

    • Homer J. Simpson

      So you can’t figure out how to draw with a Stylus on the Surface by putting the tablet down on the table so you can use your other hand for the keyboard. And that is your whole premise of why Surface stylus sucks with Toon Boom. Okay, I’m done here. You’re getting a little too desperate to justify yourself.

    • ciderrules

      See if this works. Guess it does. Don’t forget to add the h plus tt and ps with the colon and double back slash.

      My receipt when I returned my SP4. Just as I stated, the expensive i7 model, not a bare-bones core m3 model. Also note the student discount since I always said this was for my daughter. And the td card I listed with matching last 4 digits to the receipt.

      1drv. ms/i/s!AputRHLwqJEqa34cDcPbq6k_Y-U

      1drv. ms/i/s!AputRHLwqJEqbE9pr8MCtq7sugo

    • Unorthodox

      I’m in absolute support for this argument. Styluses and professional digitazers have NOTHING to do with usability of touchscreen interface.

  • Brad Fortin

    “Wish your MacBook had a touchscreen?”

    Nope. That’s an awful idea.

    • fruvous

      Now that’s courage.

    • MassDeduction

      Why is adding an additional, and entirely optional, input method a bad idea. On my PC I use keyboard and mouse, and I use the touchscreen. Repositioning and resizing on a map, I use the touchscreen. Highlighting something in Excel is generally faster with a mouse. Ultimately having the choice is best. Eliminating choice in the interest of making the device a millimetre thinner doesn’t excite me.

    • Brad Fortin

      Before I explain why it’s an awful idea I want you to hold out your arm as if you’re touching the screen.

      It’s an awful idea for two reasons: The first is that macOS isn’t optimized for touch, it’s optimized for a keyboard and mouse. The same is largely true of Windows, no matter how much Microsoft says otherwise (a 5 pixel by 5 pixel target is optimized for a 1 pixel by 1 pixel mouse pointer, not a 50 pixel by 50 pixel finger). Having a choice between a highly optimized input method (keyboard & mouse) and an almost completely unoptimized input method (touch) isn’t a good choice. The second reason is something known as “Gorilla Arm”, where after holding up your arm for an extended period of time tires out your arm. Having your arms resting on a desk or your lap is fine, and moving your fingers on the keyboard or mouse doesn’t do much to tire out your arm or your hands. A vertical touch screen, though? Much more tiring, sometimes so much so that it feels like your arm is going to fall off. The thickness of the device is irrelevant.

      Now that you’ve held your arm out for a short while, how does it feel? Probably a lot more tired than if it had remained on a keyboard or mouse.

    • MassDeduction

      I use a touchscreen PC every day, so I am not in need of your assistance in knowing what that feels like. Your suggestion also doesn’t accurately reflect all use-cases for a touchscreen. For example, holding a PC by the sides of the screen and idly flicking your thumbs to scroll. Or (as I suggested in my reply to you, but which you did not address at all in your response) using the keyboard and mouse for some tasks, and then switching to the touchscreen for other tasks that are simply better suited to it (such as zooming and repositioning on a map). Your example of “Gorilla Arm” presumes constant input is required for all tasks, which isn’t the way things are. When I’m using a computer I’m often reading or reviewing.

      Your comments about using Windows with a touchscreen also indicate a fundamental misunderstanding. Windows works much better with a touchscreen than you describe, but that doesn’t matter anyway. You don’t have to use Windows just with a touchscreen, as you can also use keyboard and mouse. You can jump back and forth, depending on what’s better for a given task.

      I’m curious, since you’re expressing strongly held opinions on the subject, have you used a touchscreen PC extensively over a wide variety of use-cases? I have and my experience is vastly different than what you seem to believe it would be like.

    • Brad Fortin

      Yes, I have 2 touchscreen computers at work (4 if you count a secondary work area). I only really use the touchscreen when I’m showcasing something on the screen and need to scroll, the rest of the time I find that a keyboard and mouse works better (especially when using Microsoft Office, Chrome, or just about any other app that was never designed with touch in mind).

    • MassDeduction

      None of which explains why you suggested I do a “stupid human trick” of holding my arm out while I read your comment, despite the fact that you appear to be familiar with other use-cases. And just because touchscreens don’t significantly improve your personal work flow (though even you admit you do use it at times when it’s an option) doesn’t validate your original point. Your argument was that a touchscreen Mac is “an awful idea.” I submit that even if it would be awful for you, it wouldn’t be awful for the many people who want it and could benefit from it. I am a Mac user who wants a touchscreen Mac and would benefit from it, and I know others who feel the same way.

      None of this explains to my satisfaction why it would be “awful” to have that additional input option too, that some people would use and would benefit from. You think it’s awful because the device might be a millimetre thicker? You wouldn’t even be made to purchase one as Apple would probably make some MacBooks with touch and some without. So you think it’s awful that some people would choose a touchscreen model and benefit from it? How terrible.

    • Brad Fortin

      “You think it’s awful because the device might be a millimetre thicker?”

      At no point did I say anything even remotely close that.

      “So you think it’s awful that some people would choose a touchscreen model and benefit from it?”

      I also never said anything even close to that. You just love putting words in other people’s mouths, don’t you?

      Your example of “holding a PC by the sides of the screen and idly flicking your thumbs to scroll” only works on Windows tablets, not so much on desktops or laptops like a Mac, and if you want a tablet that’s optimized for touch there’s a device suited exactly to that purpose called the iPad.

      I laid out 2 perfectly reasonable explanations for why a touchscreen on a Mac is an awful idea: Desktop OSes like macOS (and Windows) aren’t optimized for touch (again, look at the size of the interface elements: they’re tiny, and highly optimized for the 1×1 pixel tip of a mouse pointer, not the 44×44 pixel tap targets of mobile OSes like iOS), and using vertical touch surfaces is ergonomically terrible (as mentioned above, quickly leads to fatigue), both of which are completely valid points and are sufficient reasons for why MacBooks shouldn’t have touchscreens.

    • MassDeduction

      Me: “You think it’s awful because the device might be a millimetre thicker?”

      Brad: “At no point did I say anything even remotely close that.”

      I know you didn’t, and I didn’t say you did. Note the question mark. I was trying to make sense of your argument, and was querying you on whether that’s what you meant as I wasn’t at all sure.

      “I also never said anything even close to that. You just love putting words in other people’s mouths, don’t you?”

      Not at all, I’m struggling to understand how your arguments fit together with your unusual suggestions, such as asking me to extend my arm out while reading your comment, without first even finding out if I already had extensive experience with touchscreens or not.

      “Your example of “holding a PC by the sides of the screen and idly flicking your thumbs to scroll” only works on Windows tablets, not so much on desktops or laptops like a Mac, and if you want a tablet that’s optimized for touch there’s a device suited exactly to that purpose called the iPad.”

      I believe your argument is incomplete as it leaves out convertible 2-in-1s, and there’s no reason they couldn’t make a 2-in-1 Macbook. Though if I were in the market for a new Macbook, I would prefer a touchscreen option even if it weren’t a convertible, as some of my use-cases are applicable to a touchscreen even on a traditional laptop.

      “I laid out 2 perfectly reasonable explanations for why a touchscreen on a Mac is an awful idea: Desktop OSes like macOS (and Windows) aren’t optimized for touch (again, look at the size of the interface elements: they’re tiny, and highly optimized for the 1×1 pixel tip of a mouse pointer, not the 44×44 pixel tap targets of mobile OSes like iOS), and using vertical touch surfaces is ergonomically terrible (as mentioned above, quickly leads to fatigue), both of which are completely valid points and are sufficient reasons for why MacBooks shouldn’t have touchscreens.”

      This is why I’m struggling to understand. You didn’t lay out complete arguments IMO, you laid out incomplete arguments that apply to only certain highly specific situations, and appeared not to respond to my suggestions that there were other use-cases other than what you suggest. User interface elements are often resizeable, and how small they are is highly dependant on both screen size and screen resolution. Your arguments are highly predicated on the idea that selecting options is the only purpose of a touch screen, but scrolling and selecting ranges is also a significant component of touchscreen use. And your vertical touchscreen interface argument introducing fatigue is incomplete, as what if you’re standing and the screen is at abdominal height. I use such an arrangement in a retail environment daily, and it’s far better for my purposes than hunching over to use a keyboard or mouse would be, and this is on a 20″ screen so an iPad wouldn’t be an appropriate alternative. You keep repeating how you have “completely valid points” but aren’t even acknowledging all of my points, which perhaps you could understand would be frustrating for me.

      I can come up with some situations where a touchscreen is highly appropriate, and I can come up with some where it’s less appealing. So just add it as an option and don’t make anyone use it. What’s next, to argue against including the arrow keys on the keyboard because the laptop has a touchpad? It doesn’t have to be either/or with any of the above.

  • demigod79

    Interesting idea, but not a replacement for a touch screen.

    Apple really needs to drag themselves into the modern era. A touchscreen on a laptop is undoubtedly a great innovation and there is no reason not to include it. On my Surface Pro I usually switch between the touchscreen and trackpad/mouse, depending on the task and mood (I’ve gotten so used to it that I’ve often found myself touching the screen on my old non-touch laptop). MacBook users do not know what they’re missing out on, and it’s a shame that Apple refuses to do something that makes their customers’ lives easier.

  • ElChe1988

    That will be a accurate as me to type with my fat cok lol

  • salon_dijon

    Why does the title quote the American price?